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Perfection is an unattainable goal for us imperfect humans. But knowing that doesn’t necessarily stop that little voice inside our heads from setting us up for failure. You can hear it saying, “they’re not going to like the way I look, the way I dress, the way I sound or what I have to say.”
You have to get past this “perfect” nonsense in order to excel. First, turn off the little voice by placing the focus on the audience where it belongs. Then, set realistic goals. We all instinctively know that perfection is impossible to achieve, but being your best is attainable. Seeking perfection assures failure. Working toward being your best creates success.
This is not to say that you should accept anything less than excellence. But aiming for perfection is a barrier to your best performance. Consider the world of sports for a moment. By anyone’s measure, Tiger Woods is an excellent golfer. He is not perfect. If he were, he’d have a hole-in-one every time. Do you think he would be heading for the Hall of Fame if shooting an 18 were his goal? No, he’d be heading for a breakdown.
Have you seen teams that play not to lose rather than playing to win? In order to avoid mistakes and reach for perfection, they play it safe. More often than not, they seem to lose, too.
Shooting for perfection does not allow you to stretch and grow. You pass up exciting opportunities if this is the way you choose to play. Let me suggest that you be willing to try new things, make some mistakes and build on them. I’m preaching progress, not perfection.
Perfect Nonsense creates paralysis and a lack of passion, which interferes with our ability to connect with the audience.
If you set reasonable goals and congratulate yourself as you progress toward those goals, then you are on your way to being past an imperfect objective.
If you’re serious about advancing your skills and making an investment in yourself, we invite you to our Excellence in Speaking Institute. Classes are filling up quickly so don’t delay! Visit this page to read feedback from our graduates about their experience.